Title: You and I Collide pt.1
For all other fic details please see Master Post
The headlights cut through the gloom, illuminating flashes of dark green and bark pressing too close to the single lane road. Though perhaps cart track would be a better description then gravel road.
Jared shot a glance across the cab of the truck to his companion; Chad was still propped up against the passenger door, his head gently bouncing against the window. At first glance, it would have been easy to mistake him for being asleep until observant eyes picked out the dark stain of blood discoloring the collar, shoulder, upper back and chest on the right side of his dark grey t-shirt.
He turned back to staring out the windshield as he guided his SUV around another curve with a shake of his head.
Goddamn Chad! Only he could run head first into a group of three rednecks with a hate on for vampires in the middle of buttfuck nowhere Montana while getting hot and heavy with the younger sister of one of them. At least he had been lucky enough that this particular bunch of hicks didn’t know enough about vampire physiology to actually manage to kill him.
But just because they didn’t, didn’t mean that they didn’t have friends that did, which would explain why he was guiding his baby down a gravel road with just a little over an hour left of darkness. Two, maybe three, hunters he could deal with on his own but a couple car loads and the odds weren’t looking good from him, especially when he would be stuck trying to protect Chad at the same time. Best to put as much distance between them and Chad’s want to be killers as possible and hope like hell he found them somewhere to hole up for the day.
“I should have just left your sorry ass in that barn.” He grumbled and darted his eyes back and forth along the edges of the road looking for a turn off that would hopefully lead to some sort of shelter.
“...love...me.” He slurred back.
Jared snorted but didn’t really protest. He really couldn’t argue the truth in his words. They’d been together for over a century, it had been Chad that had found him behaving like a manic, after being attacked and then left by his sire to fend for himself, and had taken him back to his nest. It had been Chad that had helped him settle in with others like himself and taught him how to feed without killing his victim, how to blend in, how to maintain some of his humanity. And in the end, when he couldn’t ignore the need to move, to search for something indefinable, it was Chad that opted to go with him instead of staying with his own nest and the security it offered.
Yeah, he kind of loved him but it didn’t mean that he didn’t occasionally want to beat the shit out of him.
“You’re just lucky they thought bleeding you out would kill you and that you had your cell phone.”
After a moment of silence with no snappy comeback, or at least, a couple slurred words, he looked back over to see Chad’s narrowed eyes and his hand slowly come up. With a jerky move his flipped him the finger before letting his hand fall back to his lap.
He rolled his eyes and almost missed the small sign at the side of the road letting him know that he was coming up on something called Ackland. He had no idea what Ackland was supposed to be but it eased some of the stress pressing down on his shoulders. It was doubtful that it was a city or even a small town with a nest but if it warranted a sign, then it had to be at least a gas station, which meant shelter, and he’d take whatever he could get.
As he guided the truck around another curve he was surprised to see that Ackland was, indeed, a small town, hamlet was probably a better descriptor, but in the end that was semantics. All that mattered was that it was more than a barn or a gas station or that one memorable day spent in a mausoleum, which was Chad’s fault too. The point was that it was a chunk of civilization in the middle of nowhere they had found themselves and, hopefully, that meant a motel at the very least.
He refused to think about the fact that the only access to the town was a dirt road and that could mean a commune or worse, extremists. He’d cross that bridge if and when he got to it.
So deep in thought, he didn’t spot the upcoming paved road as they entered town and although it was a little disconcerting after getting used to being jostled around, it settled quickly. It was doubtful that right-wingers or a commune could afford or would bother with paved roads and it wasn’t the first little town he’d come across in his travels that just sudden appeared on the horizon. There were little gems hidden all through North America if one knew where to look, towns that survived only on tourism dollars, some winter retreats, others summer and a few year round. It made sense that one would be nestled there in one of the many mountain ranges of Montana. Adding credence to his hypothesis were the rustic wooden street signs and the, more than necessary for a town so small, restaurants and gift shops.
“There.” Chad muttered softly.
Jared glanced over to the right and could easily make out the sign with “Accommodations” and an arrow directing traffic to turn right at the next intersection, even with the limited street lighting.
He followed the signs carefully, feeling the need for shelter becoming more and more pressing in his blood, and was disappointed and concerned when he finally reached a driveway at the edge of town and spotted Ackland’s idea of accommodations. A small, single story building made out of logs, probably trying to appear to be homey, was fronted by a parking lot with maybe room for seven or eight vehicles and backed up directly into the surrounding forest. There was no way it was large enough to be any kind of motel or even a B&B.
Maybe the town had just started to try to bring in tourists, maybe it was a last ditch effort to keep the town from going under, and they had only started on plans for where the accommodations would eventually be. Or worse, the accommodations were actually a campground and if so, they were back to square one and searching out an abandoned shed or barn. The thought made him scan the dark forest, if nothing else maybe he could find Chad some fresh blood, he was going to need it to heal and the faster he healed the easier it would be on both of them. To his surprise, there were no tents hidden amongst the trees but several small cabins, which was a hell of a lot better.
“Huh.” He muttered and guided the truck to the first building he had spotted, what he assumed was the office and stopped.
There was light shining through the blinds on the window by the door and although the “open” sign in the window wasn’t lit, he was sure there was someone moving inside. Pretty sure.
“Wait here.” He tossed over his shoulder as he opened his door and stepped out. It was probably a waste of breath since he had to half carry, half drag Chad to the truck to begin with but with Chad it was always a good idea to point out even the obvious, especially the obvious.
The door could have been locked, probably should have been, but they were out in the middle of nowhere and even if the citizens of the community were trying to entice tourism he wouldn’t be surprised if each and every person owned at least one gun. Granted it wouldn’t do much to deter someone like him but it was probably best that whoever was behind the door didn’t know that, the “Rights and Protection of Other Species” act felt like some much-wasted paper most of the time. Out in the middle of nowhere, so shortly after Chad had almost been beheaded, it seemed even more so.
It wasn’t just humans that disappeared on the face of the earth never to be seen again.
It was a typical motel/hotel office as far as he could tell. There was a map of the town and surrounding area tacked up to the wall behind the long wooden desk, a wire carousel full of pamphlets and brochures, outlining the various forms of recreation offered, and several prints focusing on wolves in mountainous landscapes taking up the reaming free wall space.
There was nothing that screamed psycho or fanatic but then again, there really never was. Still he hadn’t survived for as long as he had by foolishly assuming that all was safe just by an easy going, non-threatening appearance so he didn’t think he could be blamed for being cautious as he steeped fully into the room.
“Hey, I wasn’t expecting anyone so soon in the day or even the season.”
She was tall but slight; at first glance he would think that a strong gust of wind would blow her over, with long dark brown hair and a pair of the greenest eyes he’d ever seen. She was pretty, even Jared could see that and it was probably a good thing that Chad was back in the truck, a very good thing. And she smelt nice, clean, the blood moving through her veins had a tang to it, mostly the metallic copper that made his mouth water but it also sang of wild green places and healthy living.
Something niggled in the back of his mind, over the years he had come to realize that people that lived outside of large urban centres had cleaner blood; the scent coming from the woman behind the desk was almost like that, almost. But there was something more to it, a hint of difference that set his nerves on edge that he knew he should have recognized.
One second she was smiling, abet a professional smile but a smile all the same, then suddenly her eyes narrowed as her lips turned downwards and she tilted her head up and to the side.
The answer struck him just as to what she was doing as her nose twitched and then wrinkled in distain. Her blood didn’t just speak of wild green places but of being wild.
“Vampire.” She sneered.
Of all the shitty luck, of course Chad had to pick out the one girl in a roadside bar between towns that had family that made it their mission to eradicate their kind. And of course in his flight to get them the hell away from their very own version of Deliverance he had to turn off the main highway and onto a gravel road that lead them directly into a town with a pack of werewolves. Because there was never just one werewolf, there was always a pack, always.
Jared held up his hands placatingly, he had never got the whole tensions between the two species, as far as he was concerned they were just the same to him as humans for the most part. They were there, and had just as much right to be as he did, as long as they left him alone. He never went out to purposely get into a fight with any of them, human or werewolf and he wasn’t about to start now. He’d leave that for the vampires with a chip on their shoulder and government sanctioned hunters on their backs.
“I just want a room.”
If there was more time, if he didn’t know that the sun was due up in under an hour he’d say fuck it and walk out. He might be willing to ignore the tension between vampires and werewolves but it didn’t mean he really wanted to put himself in a position to hope that a pack would feel the same way. But there really wasn’t a choice, not with Chad wounded and depending on Jared to take care of them, protect them, for the time being.
“The humans in this town on off-limits.” She eyed him as she pulled out a registration book and flipped it open on the desk between them.
Well that kind of put a kink in his plans but Chad would survive without fresh blood until they got to a bigger town with a nest and the humans that hung around it. Those that donated their blood directly from the source in the hopes that one of the vampires would take them on as their sponsor and eventually their sire. He’d bitch and he’d whine and Jared was going to end up wanting to kill him himself but they’d make it through. There was, after all, animal blood and they were in a mountain range, there had to be an abundance of wild life, would have to be for a pack of weres to be out there.
“Won’t be a problem.” He agreed and moved the last few paces to stand in front of the desk and glanced down at the registration book and pen waiting for his information.
“Is there any reason to believe you’ll actually fill that out truthfully?” Her voice hadn’t softened in the least but she wasn’t going for his throat so he’d take that as a win.
Jared glanced from the book with its columns for name, address and phone number and shrugged. There wasn’t any reason not to give his real name, he hadn’t stopped using it when he became a vampire and didn’t have any qualms about giving it out. The phone number, he wasn’t too concerned about handing over that either. It wasn’t like they were going to be calling him with end of the season specials or informing him of extra charges they were adding to his credit card. For one thing, even though he had a black Visa he didn’t intend to use it and second just how many extra charges could they wrack up when asleep for one day? It was his address, he didn’t have one anymore, hadn’t had one in years and didn’t think that giving a description of his family’s ranch that had once stood outside of San Antonio when San Antonio was little more than a saloon, mercantile, hotel and sheriff’s office was worth the effort. Especially since he was pretty sure his bloodline had died out before the first Great War and that was something he didn’t like to think about.
Still he picked up the pen and added his name and cell number below the half page of scrawl before pushing it back to her.
“Well Jared,” she glanced down at the book then back up at him. “The cabins are a hundred and ten a night.” Her lips twitched into a small, tight smile, it wasn’t pretty. “Check out is usually eleven in the morning but I’m guessing that isn’t when you’ll be ready to leave so you’ll have to pay for two days instead of one. Oh, guess I should ask how long you’ll be staying for.”
Not at all if I had my way. This was looking more and more like a bad idea and he was pretty sure he wouldn’t be getting any sleep but he was out of options. “One day.”
She nodded and crouched down so that he could only see the top of her light brown head, “That will be two hundred and twenty, cash, up front.”
Jared dug out his wallet, pulled the required fee out and dropped it on top of the open book. Turned out it was a good thing he hadn’t planned on using his credit card after all.
“Cabin fourteen.” She swept the money and the book up and pointed at an x on a map under the Plexiglas top of the desk. “This one there. Follow the road around behind the office here and follow it past the first seven cabins, it’ll be the eighth.”
He couldn’t help but notice that the road had a branch in it and that the cabin she had given him was at the very edge of the property and surrounded by government land. Forest most certainly, far enough back that it wouldn’t be seen by the passing road, and probably too far away for humans to hear any kind of noise, say like a couple vampires being attacked by a pack of weres while they slept.
It was with a concerted effort that he shook off the urge to tell her to shove her cabin and walk back out the door, with or without his cash back, and make a run from the sun. It wasn’t like it would kill either of them; it just drained vampires and, personally, gave Jared a hell of a migraine. But he could tell by the look in her eyes that that was exactly what she was going for, maybe she couldn’t afford to turn away customers for whatever reason or perhaps she just got off on making things difficult for vampires. Either way, he was just as hard headed, if not more, and wasn’t going to be intimidated by someone who barely reached his shoulder, a whole pack behind her or not.
“Thanks.” He made sure his smile was relaxed as he took the key she dropped into his hand and made his way back to the door, “You have a great day now.”
He didn’t let his smile sharpen until after he was out of the office and his back was fully turned on her and her huff of annoyance.
Jensen cracked one eye open and glared at his cell ringing merrily on his nightstand. He had tried to ignore it, had thought he had been doing pretty well when it rang the first time before the answering service picked it up and had just buried his head deeper into his pillow when it started to ring again.
“Go away.” He muttered and turned his head to face away from it.
It was too early in the morning to deal with his younger sister and he damn well knew it would be her on the other end of the line. She had a bad habit of oversleeping her alarm clock and when she had to open Ackles Homestead she always called him to come bring her coffee. He had sworn he wasn’t doing it any longer, there was a coffee maker in the office, maybe it was ancient and took an unreasonable amount of time to make a pot of coffee but it would always be done by the time he showed up. She could deal with cheap coffee for her first morning cup if she couldn’t bother to get moving early enough to make a pot of coffee in her own home.
He groaned when the phone started to ring for the third time and grit his teeth. Goddamn Mackenzie and her stubborn streak, Jesus, and their mother claimed he was the bull-headed one of her children. Just because he had no desire to pick a mate and settle down like a good son should.
With a growl, he flipped over and grabbed his phone. “I’m not bringing you coffee. Suck it up and deal with the shit there. If you want better than start getting up on time or quit being cheap and buy some for the office.”
“There’s vampires in town.”
Jensen sat up and scrubbed his free hand over his face. It wasn’t something he wanted to hear, “Come again?”
“Vampires, Jensen.” She growled, “At least two that I know of.”
Shit. He shifted until his feet hit the soft rug on the floor, “You’re sure? You’ve seen them?”
Mackenzie snorted, “They’re staying here. And I saw one but smelt two and I think one of them is hurt. Too much old blood stink on the one that came to rent a cabin for the day.”
He shivered at the dark glee in his sister’s voice. No one as young as her should have that much blood lust against someone else, not even a vampire. It was just another reason why it had been such a bad move on his father’s part to accept the rag tag little Morgan pack into their fold when they had stumbled into town the winter before. They were the ones that had poisoned most of the Ackles pack against vampires, not that they had ever been friendly with them but until then vampires were just like humans, some bad apples among the many but not anymore.
Now they were considered the enemy, even more so than the right-wing extremists who believed that the only good werewolf was a dead werewolf, thanks to the sob story that Jeffery Morgan had fed his father. About how they had always been a small pack that never bothered anyone and how a large nest of vampires had moved into their territory one day and attacked them unprovoked.
Jensen didn’t buy it.
Unfortunately, too many of his own pack did.
Vampires in town, even for one day, there could be bloodshed.
“Have you called anyone else yet?” Have you called dad or worse Jeffery? Was left unsaid.
“You’re the liaison between us and them.” She muttered in way of an answer. “It’s your job to deal with problems that arise.”
It was one of his jobs, his older brother was too busy being liaison between the pack and the government so the job of being the go between for the pack and the humans that lived among them had fallen to Jensen. Unfortunately it also meant being liaison between the pack and anyone else, human, werewolf or vampire that happened into Ackland. And that was beyond his usual job of town manager, ensuring that the town was self-sufficient while not greatly impacting the surrounding national park system, which would keep the National Park Foundation and National Park Services off their backs.
“Alright,” he glanced at the digital alarm clock on his nightstand. It was already five thirty in the morning; there was maybe only forty minutes until sunrise. What the hell would a couple vampires be doing out that close to morning? Unless Mac was right and one of them was hurt. And if one of them was hurt, how did it happen? Were they running from the government sanctioned special policing force? Or as most of those not human liked to think of it as “the hunters”. If they were running he’s was going to have to get them out of town. No way were they going to be able to continue on, not a chance was the government going to allow Ackland to continue in a National park if they were harboring fugitives, regardless of the agreement made when his father had agreed to sell the almost eight thousand acres accumulated by the pack as private ranch lands to allow the pack to stay. “It’s close to dawn but I’ll try to get there before sunrise. Do not call anyone else Mac.”
“I can call whoever I want.”
He narrowed his eyes, “Like you said Mackenzie, it’s my job to deal with outsiders. So keep your mouth shut.”
She huffed out a disgusted sigh and he could picture her glaring out towards whichever cabin she had put the vampires in. But he had pretty much put her in a corner. Sure he knew she had called him first because there would have been hell to pay to their father if she hadn’t but she would have liked to be the one to spread the news, stir the pot as it were. And he was pretty sure it wasn’t their dad or even Chris who was head warden who she wanted to call.
“Mackenzie.” He warned low.
“Yeah, yeah got it.” She muttered, “Your job, your call.”
Jensen didn’t need the hearing of a werewolf to know she was admitting defeat. He shut his eyes in relief, he may not know why they were so far off the beaten track and in the long run he may have to make the choice between running them out of town or calling in the “special police forces” but those were infinitely better than dealing with a mob of pissed off werewolves. “Thank you.”
“Whatever.” She was trying to sound like she really could care less but he caught the fine edge of a pout in her voice. “Just bring the good coffee.”
He rolled his eyes and ended the call. He’d never get what his little sister would see in Jeffery Morgan or his tales but so long as she let him deal with what was potentially a powder keg and chose her family over her freakin crush, he’d let it go. For now.
It wasn’t like he hadn’t been expecting someone to show up, there were always formalities, it didn’t matter if they were in the territory of a nest or a pack but he had hoped that this moment could be held off until the following evening. He was tired and stressed knowing that they weren’t welcome and he was the only one that had any chance of defending them and he wouldn’t be getting any real sleep. He did not need the extra stress of a welcoming committee, at best, threatening them and, at worst, running them out of town. He really didn’t.
Jared sighed as he crossed the small living room to the door of the cabin and tried to pull his wits around him. At least Chad hadn’t argued and had allowed him to drag him into one of the two bedrooms and put him to bed, after he had cleaned him up as best as he could. He would morn the loss of one of his white t-shirts, sacrificed as a bandage around the gaping hole in the side of Chad’s neck, but beggars couldn’t be choosers and he wasn’t about to call the office and ask for gauze.
Only one or two of them please. He wasn’t sure whom exactly he was sending his hopes up to since God had abandoned him well over a hundred years before but it couldn’t hurt, could it?
Slowly he opened the door, at least the sun was rising behind the cabin so the front was still in shadows, and it made it easier to appear unaffected when he didn’t have to squint. Not that it gave him any kind of advantage either, werewolves could see just as well in darkness as vampires could.
If he had to make an assumption, he would bet that the man standing before him was a close relative to the girl at the front desk. The shared the same bright green eyes and dirty blond hair, but that was where the similarities ended as far as Jared was concerned. Where the woman had been pretty the guy before him was gorgeous, and tall, not quite as tall as Jared was but only a couple inches shorter at the most and he had a thing for tall guys.
He gave himself a mental shake, Werewolf he chided himself. He was a werewolf and Jared was a vampire and the two did not mix, ever.
“I already know to leave the humans around here to themselves.” He muttered, “And we’ll be gone shortly after nightfall.” He swallowed hard against the familiar smell of blood and wild drowning his senses, what little blood he had managed earlier had been sacrifice to Chad to keep him semi-conscious and he was starving. Add a damn fine looking man standing in is doorway, werewolf or not, and he was almost tempted to grab him, throw him against the wall and sample what smelt so damn good.
But only almost; he wasn’t stupid or suicidal.
The guy tilted his head to the side and raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, well formalities must be followed. Can I come in for a minute?”
He ground his teeth together but stepped back to allow him entrance. Formalities had to be followed and better not to piss off the welcoming committee, even if it was a committee of one. For a second he wondered if this guy had lost the coin toss to see who had to deal with the vampires but then let it go. It didn’t matter so long as he stayed civil and Jared stayed civil and they still had a place to hole up for the day.
“My name is Jensen Ackles and I’m Public Liaison for the Ackles pack.”
Jared waited to see if the guy, Jensen, would move farther past the door, perhaps make himself at home and found himself, grudgingly, respecting him a little when he stayed just inside the closed door. He could have moved as he chose too, Jared had come up against nest liaisons who wandered into his motel or hotel room like they owned it because he was an outsider in their territory. It was unexpected but pleasant to come across someone who didn’t treat him like he was a lesser individual, especially since it was a werewolf.
He managed to drag up a small smile and nodded towards the couch and chair in the centre of the room before heading that direction himself. “Jared Padalecki, nomadic vampire.”
He dropped down into the chair he had been occupying since taking care of Chad and played with the half full cup of coffee at his elbow. It really did nothing for him, somewhere, in some dark corner of his mind; he kept hoping to achieve the caffeine buzz he had heard so much about. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like it was going to happen this time, just like it had never happened the countless times before he had choked down the bitter liquid but just once, especially right now when he could use a boost, he couldn’t help but try.
“So you aren’t part of a nest then?” Jensen asked slowly as he sank down into the couch across from him. “Not looking for a new place for your nest to call home?”
It was a fair question and one he had heard before but it still dug at him wrong. Yes, he got that vampires generally stuck to a nest and rarely broke off in one or twos, strength in numbers, but it didn’t mean that it didn’t happen. Nor did automatically mean that he was lying when he admitted immediately that he was nomadic and wasn’t looking for a nest to join or a place to start one up.
“No.” He shook his head and leaned back in the chair. This was looking to be a long interview so he might as well be as comfortable as possible.
Jensen nodded slowly before he stilled and scented the air. Jared felt himself go rigid; the electric heaters running along the floors had just kicked on and had carried the scent of blood to both their noses. He hadn’t believed that the werewolf in the office hadn’t caught the scent of too much blood on Jared earlier but he had hoped she had thought it was his or perhaps from an old fight he had been in and hadn’t managed to get it all off his shoes or something. But the werewolf in front of him would know the smell wasn’t coming from him but another, and now he knew that Jared was weaker because there was another he needed to defend.
“Does your companion require anything?”
Does he need to feed? Are we going to have a problem?
Jared heard the unasked questions but didn’t think that Jensen would appreciate the answers. “No. Just a place to stay until night fall.”
He narrowed his eyes and glanced towards the hall and the bedrooms beyond. He stilled for a moment before nodding, seeming to come to a decision. He turned back to level a hard look towards him, his eyes brighter, glowing. “Look Jared, I need to know the truth and I’ll either get it from you or from the government, is there any reason I should have you escorted out of town? Do I need to worry about government cops showing up?”
He should probably be feeling more intimidated by the show of the beast hidden just underneath the layer of humanity but instead found how much greener Jensen’s eyes had become more a draw then a reason to fear. “No.” He answered slow, the sudden surge of wantnow making him feel more sluggish than the rising sun. It was hard to decide how much to share and how much to hold back suddenly. If he didn’t know better he would swear that Jensen was the one with the ability to mesmerize, not him. Not that it worked on werewolves or other vampires, logically he knew that, but it didn’t stop him from thinking it.
Fuck it, he knew it was dangerous, knew that at least one of Jensen’s pack hated his kind, probably more, but the werewolf in front of him hadn’t shown the same hostility. The standard professional standoffishness was obvious but he didn’t seem to be disgusted with being near him. Maybe he had finally come across a werewolf with the same mindset as his own.
“Chad ran into a couple of rednecks with a dislike for our kind. If they had been government hunters or even better educated, he’d be dead. But they seemed to think slitting his throat and letting him bleed out would be enough to finish him. It wasn’t.”
The glow of Jensen’s eyes had only gotten brighter and he could see the muscles of his jaw tighten until his teeth must have hurt. He didn’t think, at least he hoped, it wasn’t him he was angry with. But he had said too much, unsanctioned hunters meant problems for both vampires and werewolves and there would be no way Jensen wanted them in his town. And there was always the distinct possibility that they had followed him to the town but he didn’t believe so.
The growl probably shouldn’t have made his dick twitched. He really needed to get laid soon.
“About an hour from here, just outside of Kalispell.”
He nodded slowly, “He needs blood then.”
It wasn’t a question, which was good because Jared wasn’t sure how to answer it. Yes, Chad needed blood, human blood for him to heal but was that something he really wanted to admit to? Admitting to it might give Jensen the wrong idea no matter what he had already said about knowing that the human populace were off bounds. Jared didn’t know if he had met other vampires in his life, didn’t know what they were like if he had and if they had put their own needs before their word. If they had, again it was something that would color Jensen’s opinion of him and his answer.
“I’m sure I can find a couple donors in town.”
He bit the inside of his cheek, desire to help Chad warred with his better judgement. It had been this werewolf’s sister who had said that the humans were off limits but Jensen was the town liaison not her. Maybe he really did want to help. It would probably be in his best interests, help the wounded vampire and get them the hell out of his town, especially considering why or rather, who had pushed them to come all the way out there.
“It wouldn’t take much.” He admitted low, nerves making him want to jump up and start to pace but forcing himself to remain still. Just enough that he wouldn’t be practically dependent on me.
“I’ll see what I can do.” Jensen smiled and Jared was surprised to see that it reached his eyes and made the skin at their corners crinkle. It was a good look for the werewolf, made him want to press his lips against them and feel the dips and curves.
Really, really needed to get laid.
He stood and headed back toward the door. He paused just before he opened the door and turned back around to pin him with his stare. “Listen, there is a fraction of weres in this pack that do not like vampires. There’s history there that isn’t my story to tell but they’ve got their place in the pack and those that believe them.”
He wondered if the werewolf at the front desk was one of the faction or one that followed them and wondered what the difference was. At least he figured he knew where Jensen stood on the subject since he offered to help, even if it only meant that they would get the hell out of town faster, he had still offered instead of telling them to get the hell gone, especially considering the reason for them coming in the first place.
“Just stay in the cabin.” He opened the door and stepped out into the brightening dawn. “I’ll be back in a couple hours.”
Jared leaned back in the chair, confusion swirling through him. He wanted to think it was only because he was the Liaison between the werewolves and those they came into contact with but he seemed too friendly for something that was only his job. But that couldn’t be right because werewolves and vampires didn’t mix.
What the hell was he doing?
Jensen ignored the urge to run down the three steps and allow himself to disappear into the deep woods behind the cabins. He had meant to go in there and try to get a read on the vampires. Find out why they were there, how long they were staying and if he considered them a danger of any kind to his pack. What he hadn’t meant to do was offer to help. Help meant that he was interested in the wellbeing of them and he wasn’t. It didn’t serve any purpose to help them, the one he had spoken to, Jared, had said that they had every intention of leaving come nightfall so it wasn’t like he needed to do anything to convince them to leave sooner so why?
Because you wanted to do something nice for him, for Jared. His mind helpfully supplied.
Sure there was something that appealed to Jensen on a basic level, he filled out a lot of the criteria Jensen had when looking for a hook up but it wasn’t just that. Jensen had the opportunity to run into a few vampires over the years, maybe it had been a couple dozen years since he had gone to Montana State University for his business degree but he didn’t think much had changed in the rest of the world since then. Vampires and werewolves didn’t mix, they were too different, too much animosity between the two so that even if there could have been any common ground as two people, it was smothered beneath it. And yet, he had seen Jared as just another person, had caught sight of his single-minded determination and loyalty to his friend and had appreciated it.
And the fact that he was hot and it had been a while since anyone appealed to Jensen may have had something to do with it, maybe. But there was more than just that, he felt at ease with the vampire, something that he couldn’t find with a lot of his own kind and he hadn’t even noticed it missing until then.
He ran his hands up his face and into his hair. It didn’t matter, Jared and his companion would be gone shortly after the sun went down and life would go on as it always had. He refused to acknowledge that that thought bothered him in the least as he pulled his cell from his leather jacket pocket and powered it on.
Four missed messages and three texts.
Sighing, he dismissed the notifications and stuffed it back into his pocket. He had a feeling he knew who had been trying to reach him and he was never happier than now that he shut if off when he was meeting with someone in an official manner.
As he rounded the corner and spotted the Warden jeep parked in front of the office he knew his suspicions had been confirmed. He should have known better than to trust that Mackenzie would keep her mouth shut but, at least, it had only been Chris she had called. It could have been worse, though he wasn’t sure if that would have been his father or Jeffery.
“From now on keep your damn phone on when meeting with vamps!”
Jensen shook his head as Chris burst through the office door, thunderous look not quite masking the concern beneath.
“So that I could check in every two minutes mom?” He shot back as he pushed him back into the office. “I told you not to call anyone Mac.”
She shrugged, non-pulsed, as she sipped from a Styrofoam cup. His sensitive nose picking up the familiar smell of Kona coffee, “You didn’t bring me any good coffee so I had to resort to calling Chris.”
“Yeah, right.” He snorted and leaned across the counter, bringing his face within inches of hers. “Anyone else you call?”
Mackenzie narrowed her eyes and growled low in her throat. He ground his teeth at the challenge, they were family, she was his little sister but he’d put her on her back with her throat bared if she pushed him too hard. He was not in the mood for her shit. Their dad might cater to her more than he should but Jensen wouldn’t. Sure he’d protect her from any threat but that didn’t mean she got to step out of line with him and she damn well knew it.
“Mac.” He warned and bared his teeth briefly.
He felt Chris still beside him, the scent of tension and uncertainty filling his nose. They had been friends since they were little, Chris’ family had been part of the Ackles pack from the very beginning, and he was Jensen’s unofficial brother which made him one of Mac’s older brothers and he never knew exactly what to do when they started circling each other.
After a tense moment she dropped her eyes and started to pick at a stray piece of scotch tape lifting off the Plexiglas top of the desk. “No.” She admitted softly.
“Thank you.” He pushed off the desk and took a step back. “Try to remember it’s my job to deal with informing our father when someone new shows up and it’s his to decide who in the pack is informed formally, not yours.”
He wasn’t sure she’d keep her word; it wasn’t that she suffered from some misplaced jealousy for not being more central in the happenings of the pack but this was different from other times. This wasn’t a bus load of tourists that already knew they were entering werewolf lands, at least those who had read the disclaimer on the website, this was a couple of vampires. Vampires on pack land, a pack that had been fired up by the unconfirmed tale of an unprovoked attack from a werewolf with an obvious hate for vampires and a barely concealed distaste for humans whom his sister had an unhealthy attraction to.
“I mean it Mac.” He growled low and left the building, knowing that Chris would follow him. He might not be willing to talk with Mac because of his concern about just whom she would repeat things to but Chris would keep his mouth shut and they both knew that. At least he was one of the few who questioned Jeffery’s story instead of just soaking it up like a sponge.
“So what’s going on?” Chris started as they headed towards their parked trucks. “Why are they here? Do I need to be worried?”
Jensen glanced over his shoulder checking to see if Mackenzie was standing at the door or if the window was open. She was a werewolf just like them and she had the same hearing and he didn’t want her to know just how vulnerable the vampires in cabin fourteen were. If after he told his father and his father chose to share the information with her then it was out of his hands but he wouldn’t be the one to give her any information that would make it back to Jeffery Morgan. Bolstered that she wasn’t within sight and that the window was still closed but still cautious he wandered to the back of the vehicles and leaned against Chris’ Jeep.
“They ran into a group of fanatics.” He growled, feeling his hackles rise. There was always the chance to run into fanatics, it wasn’t like they were hidden now that they lived in a wildlife reserve and ran a tourist town. But the thought of them out there, not so far away from his home and his family made the beast inside him restless and hungry for blood.
“Close?” Chris snarled and turned to glare towards the main road, as if he was expecting a truck full of nuts to come roaring through town.
“Just outside of Kalispell.”
He grumbled under his breath as he paced a few steps away before spinning and tilting his head in question. “You’re sure they were fanatics and not the government?”
Honestly he couldn’t say for certain, could he take the word of a vampire as truth? He really shouldn’t, not because Jared was a vampire but because he wasn’t human. He would question an unknown werewolf if he wandered into town wounded and claiming he had been attacked by fanatics and not the government. But then no one would admit to being hunted by the government, being tracked by the government meant that the prey had broken the laws that governed non-humans and who would openly admit to being a fugitive? Not a human and certainly not a non-human. Most humans got a life sentence for the worst of their crimes, non-humans were judged harsher, always. And yet he found himself believing the vampire, Jared, there was honesty in his eyes that didn’t seem faked.
Or maybe he was looking for something that wasn’t there.
In the long run it didn’t matter; he’d still check the government website for wanted non-humans just like he always did before he allowed himself to fully believe. Or, at least, that’s what he kept telling himself.
He shrugged, “I didn’t smell any spike in tension in him when I asked him but I’ll still check it out.”
He nodded, once, satisfied. “Okay so I’ll stick close all the same.”
Jensen scratched at the back of his head, “Actually I have something else I need you to do.”
Leaning beside him, he turned his head and raised an eyebrow. “I don’t need to be able to smell your nervousness to know I’m not going to particularly like this am I?”
“Probably not.” He admitted and kicked at a stray pebble left behind from an unknown vehicle. He could go into the clinic himself and pick up the blood, no one would question him but with the tensions that would be running high by the time he got the okay from his dad, it didn’t matter if Mac said anything or not by that point there was always someone hanging around his parent’s home, someone who would say something to someone. Chris commanded a lot of respect in the pack and it wasn’t just because there were special made cells, the bars threaded through with silver that he had to wear leather gloves to open and close.
Chris leaned back and tilted his head up to catch the first rays of the sun just making over the tops of the trees. “Okay, I’m ready, hit me with it.”
“One of them is hurt pretty bad, gonna need blood, human blood, to heal.”
“Jesus Christ Jensen!” He pushed off the Jeep and spun to stand directly in front of him, his hands flying between them in his frustration. “We don’t have a nest and the crazy humans that hang around it in town or even nearby. Where in the hell do you think I’m going to get blood from?”
It wasn’t really a question; it was the place he had first thought of when he realized that Jared’s companion was in need of blood. It wasn’t exactly what he had told Jared but he figured he could fly the idea of giving some of the stored blood to a couple of vampires better than suggesting to his father that they get some of the humans in town to donate it to them. If he made sure to explain that it would definitely get the vampires out of their hair sooner, thus settling the nerves of the human occupants and Jeffery Morgan and his supporters then he’d probably okay taking it from the clinic.
“You are asking a hell of a lot here son.” Chris muttered low.
“It’ll get them out of town sooner.” He didn’t bother to mention that Jared had planned on leaving that evening. He wouldn’t be able to explain why he was doing it when it wasn’t necessary. How could he explain it to him when he wasn’t really certain why himself?
He huffed and shook his head, “Sure it will.”
He didn’t sound convinced and it was in that moment that he remembered that Mackenzie had called him and probably told him all she knew.
“Chris...” Jensen had no idea what to say but he was going to have to say something.
He waved him off, “Go talk to your dad. If he gives it the okay, I’ll go pick it up and meet you back here.” The unspoken, and if he doesn’t, I’ll figure out a reason to need it all the same not missed. There was a reason they were best friends, willing to go to the wall for each other proof of that.
He bumped shoulders with him, “Thanks Chris.”
“Whatever.” He grumbled, “I just hope you know what you’re doing.”
So did Jensen.Part Two